Match reports on pre season games are a foolish endeavour at the best of times. Players aren't at peak fitness, lineups are in no way fixed, there's multiple subs, it's all a giant feeling out process that will bear little resemblance to what you'll see once the real games start. Add in fog, and the world's worst stream that only choppily fell further and further behind reality before cutting off when the game ended in real life, when the stream was at roughly the hour mark, and that's even more the case.
So there's no real narrative here, no free flowing prose to hook you in and keep you reading until you get to the end, just some random observations, disjointed paragraphs and it'll probably end very awkwardly with no real conclusion. You know, just like the stream.
Hagglund and Richter as the centre back combo were surprisingly ok. Justin Morrow looked quite good at Left back as well, an encouraging start. At right back, well let's hope academy kid Manella gets to play some more minutes, it would be cruel if this was all he got as no-one could really see him on the other side of the pitch. He might have looked nervous, he might have been super cool and composed and like he really belongs out there, who knows?
Michael Bradley was playing very deep, coming back to get the ball off the defenders then distributing, often out to the wings. he did it quite well and Jonathan Osorio alongside him looked quite good as well. It will be interesting to see if things change when more players arrive, but for now at least the 'defenders to deep central midfielders out to the wings then back into the middle' attack is all very familiar from last year.
Also very familiar, Dwayne de Rosario. Me Ro is alive and well, taking plenty of shots from outside the area, none of which were remotely threatening. I'm sure he'll find his range as the season progresses, but the amount of shots he's taken isn't a good sign with regards to 'is he more willing to play with others' which worries me a bit.
Get your Bradenton Pirates tickets now! the stream's only ages behind, no need to skip the commercials reboot the whole thing and catch up to reality. nope not at all.
An entirely different lineup, one that featured Matias Laba doing his usual tidy passing and hunched prowling around the pitch from right back. To me that screams, yeah, you're not going to be here long, so you'll be the one to play out of position, not any of the midfielders that we'll actually need to play midfield this year.
Best chance of the night went to Issey Nakajima Farran. Alvaro Rey put in a great cross from the right wing (Rey on the right, significant? Again, who knows really?) and Issey got the shot on target but the DC goalie saved it.
Kyle Bekker took over the Michael Bradley role for the second half and also looked quite good (did that plenty last pre season as well, fool me once etc). spraying plenty of accurate balls out to the wing that would have had the American commentators purring if it was still Bradley.
And then the stream stopped. As per twitter, this happened.
DC seemed to be going with that story, so I guess we believe them.
EDIT: hey, now we don't need to believe them, we can see it. Great run by Eze to get past his man and put a good low cross in, tidy finish from Dike.
Meanwhile, Maximiliano Urruti set up the first and scored the second for Portland. Very interested to see how he does with a full pre season behind him.
What does it all mean? Pretty much nothing, formations will change, lineups will be tweaked and honed, fitness will be gradually attained, sprinkle in the intensity of a real game and everything's different. Having said that, TFC looked quite good out there and nobody got injured. So that's something. A foggy small deal.